Review: Radiance by Grace Draven

Posted October 28, 2019 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Radiance by Grace DravenRadiance by Grace Draven
Series: Wraith Kings #1
Published by Self Publish on 2015-01-13
Length: 297 pages
Reviewing eBook from TN R.E.A.D.S.
Reading Challenges: Beat the Backlist 2019


Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.


Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isnโ€™t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all sheโ€™s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

Radiance by Grace Draven is the first book in the Wraith Kings series and exactly what I didn’t realize I needed! I love fantasy, and I love romance. Grace Draven blends the two genres for Radiance. I devoured it. Unlike any I’ve ever read, I fell head over heels in love with the two main characters, their relationship, and the world-building. Gah! That world-building is fantastic. I have every intention of reading the sister series set in the same world. Radiance is a story of obligation, friendship, and love between two people of different races that should be repulsed by each other. 

Ildiko is the orphaned niece of the Gauri King and set to wed the youngest prince of the Kai when the story opens. She’s resigned to this fate and slightly scared. The Kai are not known as kind people. They aren’t even human. They are a nocturnal Elder race, with sharp claws and pointy teeth that remind Ildiko of wolves with her as their prey. When she comes across a Kai in the palace gardens before her wedding, he puts her at ease. He is kind with a quick wit, reminding her that even though his appearance may scare her, they aren’t that different. This Kai happens to be her betrothed. 

Brishen is the spare prince, the youngest of the Kai king and not in line for the throne. He always knew that his marriage would be one of political gain, not for love. Before the ceremony, he takes a few minutes in the palace gardens and encounters an enchanting human. While he finds her repulsive, he also admires her courage, wit, and mind. Learning she is to be his wife, he finds himself at peace. She may not give him children, but they can form a friendship, if not a true marriage one day. 

I love both Ildiko and Brishen. Ildiko adapts quickly to her new home and her husband. He isn’t what she expected. He’s kind, empathetic, and a true gentleman. He puts her needs before his own and is fiercely protective of her. Brishen is everything you might want in a husband even if you couldn’t stand his looks. Their relationship is one built on friendship, and the romance is a true slow burn. I found myself falling for them before they fell for each other. I love how the author conveys their relationship. It’s believable and strong as a result.

Overall, I devoured Radiance. I loved Ildiko and Brishen. My heart ached for them as they adapted and got to know one another. I highly recommend this fantasy romance for anyone that enjoys a slow burn.

About Grace Draven

Author Grace Draven

Looking for any excuse to delay in doing the laundry, Grace Draven turned to the much more entertaining task of telling stories about fantasy worlds, magic, antiheroes, and the women who love them.

She currently lives in Texas with her husband, kids, and a big doofus dog. Laundry has now been assigned to the kids.

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